We have seen bloodshed being promised. We have seen thuggish behaviour exhibited. All under the watchful and approving eyes of the authorities. Why, we even have the home minister standing up to defend the rights of the rakyat to protest and to carry out extremely offensive behaviour like stomping on cow's heads. How very thoughtful, magnanimous, democratic and considerate of him. But this, only if it is carried out by pro government bodies.
When it comes to NGOs and peaceful candlelight vigils where people gather to sing Negara Ku, or Bersih marches where people wish to exercise their constitutionally given right to peacefully make a point, the police and the home ministry weighs in like a sledgehammer with FRU trucks, water cannons, and ISA the ready to be used immediately on the spot, in stark contrast to pro government assemblies mentioned earlier where they will allow it to carry on and make token arrests only if there is a big public outcry.
It is everybody's right to peacefully assemble. Bersih has a right. Perkasa has a right. Umno Youth has the same right. People at Bersih will and have defended the rights of the other two organisations to demonstrate peacefully.
But if you have been following the chain of events in the lead up to this, you will see that Perkasa and Umno Youth only want to exercise their rights so that they can deny the same rights to Bersih.
They do this by making threats, uttering racist remarks and trying to instill fear of physical harm should the rally go ahead. They have said it openly - if you march, harm may/will come to you. And this is planned specifically to disrupt the already planned Bersih March because it will be held at the same time, at the same place with the sole objective of creating a confrontational situation.
Bersih, it must be noted, have, in all their communications and statements emphasised the intended peaceful nature of the march as opposed to the openly provocative and belligerent stance taken by Perkasa and Umno Youth.
And guess what our suddenly very efficient police did? They raided Bersih HQ, arrested and locked up Bersih people and now yellow Bersih T shirts are illegal. Red T Shirts are apparently not illegal at this moment.
Does this not strike anyone as illogical? Does this make sense at all?
Does this not make it appear like death threats and racist remarks are perfectly acceptable whereas peaceful overtures, even cartoons and poetry are a threat to national security?
This is happening because our government has, with its lopsided policies and selective enforcement of the law, created a class of people who feels it is their god given rght to do anything they want while denying others the same rights.
“Do what I say, not what I do” is what they are telling us.
Now, more than ever, the rakyat must surely see the need for Bersih to march on 9th July 2011.